It is sad that Mr. Husain gave up his Indian nationality, following his struggle with a small group of hardliners and indifference on the part of the state. But is that not the way of life in any nation that is in the making? Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk had similar problems but he continues to be Turkish. Mr. Husain had every right to be fed up with the system but he should have stayed back and fought in the larger interest of nation-building.
The harassment faced by Mr. Husain in India, by people purportedly defending the Hindu religion, is a shame on Hinduism as much as it is a blot on democracy. There is no doubt that it deserves to be condemned unequivocally. But how will Mr. Husain's agony of not being able to live in his motherland be lessened by his becoming a Qatar national?
Mr. Husain redefined art, taking it to great heights. His name is synonymous with creativity, style and innovation. His experiments with new forms of art were unusual and pioneering. But while blending ethnic and mythological themes to create luminous art forms, he overlooked the subtle demarcation between the creative and the objectionable. Although art cannot and should not be guided by any rule, an artist needs to be both responsible and creative. Every Indian is proud of Mr. Husain and is ready to welcome him back.